Month: June 2017

Today’s Tub Manga: Vinland Saga (book 9)

What can I even say about this? Buy it. Read it. Buy all of it, because once you start volume one you’ll want to continue straight through and not wait for the rest to be delivered.

I was addicted to Vinland Saga from the beginning. Historical fiction about Vikings is right up my alley but this proved to be something more. The art is absolutely amazing and the storytelling is a thing of beauty. With every volume I think, “I’m reading something life-changing.”

One of my favorite things in the world of manga is the author’s comments and Vinland Saga is no exception. Book Nine contains an “Ask Yukimura” section in the final pages and I love how his thought process is exposed. His attention to detail and intense consideration of the story and desire for readers to join him on Thorfinn’s journey just make me love this series even more.

Today’s Tub Manga: Assassination Classroom (volume 16)

We’re on the downhill slide of Assassination Classroom yet hitting what I think is the best part. Volume 16 spends pretty much the whole volume covering Koro-sensei’s past as he relates to the kids how he became…what he is.

Even though I watched the anime and it’s over, I was still looking forward to reading the manga version of this flashback.

If you’ve already read volumes 1-15, I imagine you’re in it for the long haul so I don’t really need to encourage you to read this…and if you dropped this a long time ago, then nothing I say will make you pick it up again and read sixteen volumes…

But this was one of my favorite volumes. I love a good flashback and a juicy, tentacle-laden backstory.

Today’s Tub Manga: Beasts of Abigaile (volume 1)

For the first two-thirds of this book, I kept asking myself, “Why did I buy this?” (The answer, as always: it seemed like a good idea at the time.)

In the author’s introduction about mid-book she says, “After finishing my last series, I decided to write a classic shojo manga this time.” This line was interesting to me because while a few panels had the parody “shojo face” going on, and that was understandable, much of the art also had that “classic” (read: old) feel to it. The wolfboy on the cover has a way more modern look than his in-story equivalent. I’m going to get hate for saying this but flipping through once again, I’m kind of reminded of “Sailor Moon” artistically.

The plot was a bit more boring and contrived than I expected and so far the characters come off as very tropey. If I had read this at fourteen or somewhat shojo-age instead of [ahem] the age I am now, I probably would have liked it well enough.

I will say that Dario appeared at the perfect time for me; just when I was thinking the story might be irredeemable, we were saved by a queen. And I actually really liked the final scene and it gave me at least some hope for the likability of our protagonist. Those last couple pages made me think this series might have at least a little potential to be something different.

I probably won’t buy the second volume. The premise is okay, the art is okay, the characters are barely okay…but nothing is “great” about this. Then again, I am kind of a manga masochist so keep your eyes peeled for Today’s Tub Manga: Beasts of Abigaile (volume 2)

Today’s Tub Manga: Kiss Him, Not Me! (volume 11)

It’s volume 11 and the harem is trying to prevent Kae from being married off to her childhood friend.

I’ll admit, this level of ridiculousness (I guess I can’t be picky about ridiculousness this late in the game) kind of wore me out. The upside is, we’re heading to actual development (I think) from what I’ve read ahead via crunchyroll manga.

While the main plot is a bit taxing and seemingly mostly pointless until the last few pages, volume 11 is redeemed by the special short at the end of this book. I know it may seem hypocritical for me to 100% endorse a completely nonsensical body-switching short when I was complaining about ridiculousness, but this is the type of humor and insanity that originally hooked me on “Kiss Him, Not Me.”

Today’s Tub Manga: Noragami (volume 18)

OMG THAT CLIFFHANGER! Do not read this until volume 19 comes out, trust me!

I picked up “Noragami” after the first season of anime aired and it’s consistently exceeded my expectations. And now that there’s so much more story continuing after the anime, I’m glad I kept it up.

In volume 18 specifically, things are escalating to a fever pitch. Volume 17 was so frantic and action-packed that I kind of got a bit lost in all of it but volume 18 brings it all back together before our heads explode. However, just because the pace is manageable doesn’t mean things have settled down. At all. In fact, it looks like the situation is more dire than ever.


Today’s Tub Manga: The High School Life of a Fudanshi (volume 1)

I want to wax poetic and go into intricate detail about what makes “The High School Life of a Fudanshi” so hilarious and read-worthy. But I’m not going to. Instead: TRUST ME THIS IS HILARIOUS.

If you know a fudanshi/fujoshi (or ARE a fudanshi/fujoshi) this is for you. It really feels like this story is crafted out of love and knowledge of its subject. Heh. No, it’s not deep or life-changing but it’s an immensely enjoyable and entertaining light-hearted read.

Today’s Tub Manga: Yona of the Dawn (volume 6)

I might as well just get it out of the way: I love Hak and he is gorgeous.

Okay, so in volume 6, Yona meets the Green Dragon (who is my second favorite next to Hak) who doesn’t want to be the Green Dragon but she gets involved with his pirate crew to try to foil the wicked human trafficking plot of the local official.

This might actually be my favorite arc (which may not be the best thing to say because there’s a whole lot more Yona in the future) because we get:

  • 1) Jaeha being Jaeha and I read everything he says in Junichi Suwabe’s voice;
  • 2) Jaeha and Hak bantering, which is the best thing ever and totally makes the entire series better from here on out;
  • 3) perhaps most importantly, major character growth for Yona.
  • (And maybe 4: that infamous Honey Scene!).

I didn’t really give it much thought before but watching Yona undergo her trial made me like her more/all over again as a protagonist. Seeing her cry even as she insisted on completing her task made her more…real. She’s not some badass. She’s not a superhuman that went from being a pampered princess to a martial arts master overnight. She’s still very much an inexperienced girl trying to just do her best for the people she cares about. And while that sounds very trope-y as I type it, I actually really liked how her weakness and her strength was showcased simultaneously.